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tv   Titans at the Table  Bloomberg  January 12, 2014 8:00am-9:01am EST

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>> with the right ingredient -- >> we have sugar and butter. >> celebrity chefs have turned their kitchen chops into sizzling businesses. >> anybody can do this. >> luring us in with their tips of the trade -- >> it's a very easy recipe. >> and the high-stakes drama of the kitchen. >> i'm dying up here and you're killing me. >> tv shows, restaurants, and cookbooks. >> i feel like a burger or something. >> these larger-than-life personalities have made eating into a multi-billion dollar industry. we all know some of the best conversations happen over a meal, so we gathered at a classic new york city restaurant. let's meet the titans. first up, mario batali. short, vest, and orange crocs.
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a le cordon bleu dropout, instead batali got schooled in a remote italian village. he made his splash in new york with babbo, and now he is known around the world for his restaurants, cook books, and personality. >> when you tell me that you're in a hurry, i'm already leaving the house. >> next, rachael ray. if the kitchen is a man's world, ray did not get the memo. growing up in her family's restaurant business, she turned her concept for 30-minute meals into an empire. >> pat me on the back. >> yeah, baby. >> and yet, the emmy award- winning host is too humble to take credit, calling her career a happy accident. bobby flay. flay says being a chef wasn't cool when he went to the french culinary institute, but he changed all that in the early- 1990's, between his first restaurant and becoming a food network star. >> nerves are ok. utilize those nerves the best way. >> flay is still not afraid of hard work, even eyeing a run for office. rounding out the group, tom colicchio. to colicchio, cooking isn't just an art, it is a craft.
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>> the chicken liver mousse was really well seasoned. >> he uses his success to help others, whether giving young chefs a chance -- >> the winning chef is kristen. >> or helping the world's hungry find a place at the table. welcome to "titans at the table." thank you so much for joining us. let's have a cheers before we begin. cheers. let me start with this question. p.j. clarke's has been around since the 1800's, well over a hundred years old establishment. i think it was an irish immigrant who came here, decided this was a great restaurant, bought it, and then expanded it. so, when you look at your own businesses, do you look and say i want to make sure this stays around for over 100 years? >> no. babbo turns 15 this year. i know mesa turned 22. i think we have already outlived our original plans. we planned on getting in but we did not have an out, nor did we have a finish or dream of a finish. 100 years -- >> seems too far? >> no, i love the idea.
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but that would be four or five generations of chefs and families. if it was something we could do, i would be very excited. >> are you preparing your business for that possibility? >> my mistake was building 21 one-off restaurants. >> wait, you made a mistake? [laughter] >> i made a whole mess of them, believe me. >> we're going to here about the first one. >> no, no, no. our mistake was, instead of creating something we could sell as a group, like people in this room are doing, we built 21 one- offs, in which case they are not really valuable as an expandable chain or group of restaurants. >> for growth. >> you have 21 to choose from. you could choose one of those 21 to do it with. >> that's what we're doing now. it has to be the casual concept. we think pizza is the way we will go. >> you are expanding. >> how about you, bobby? when you built your businesses,
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did you think about them for the next 50 years? >> when i opened mesa grill, i had just turned 26 years old. and so, i was not thinking about anything except the next weekend. i was not worried about how long the restaurant would be around. i just wanted to build a restaurant that i always wanted to build, and mesa grill was that restaurant. i had always seen that restaurant growing up. it was a big restaurant. it had a lot of energy to it. it was bustling. the food was american. it had a lot of big flavors to it. and i was able to accomplish that, and 22 years later, it is still there. it has evolved because it is important to continue to evolve your concept within the concept itself without changing it. i think the hardest thing that i had to put a stop to is all my cooks are always watching what the next food trend is, so when asian cuisine came along, they started bringing asian ingredients into the kitchen. hold on. we do not need to do that. we do not need to know every single thing about every ingredient or every trend. just because pea shoots made "the new york times" cover doesn't mean we have to flood our menu with it. >> it was like that quality control? >> i picked the focus, which was a contemporary american southwestern restaurant. >> right, your core brand. >> exactly. and i wanted to be the best at
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that thing, so when you crave that food, when you're trying to decide where to eat and you feel like having something with chili peppers, or those kinds of flavors, that you think of mesa grill. that was my focus only. >> tom? >> i think when we started doing what we are doing, got in business, we were rallying against those restaurants that were established for a long time. we wanted to do our own thing. the thought was never let's build something and it will be here for 100 years. certainly, when i was 26, when i had my first chef's job, i wasn't thinking along those lines. even when we opened gramercy tavern, we were not thinking 20 years in the future. >> but you were hoping it would be successful, obviously. >> yeah. but when i started cooking, i had no idea that i would be working in new york. i started cooking in new jersey. we do not have a model for a young american chef doing whatever cuisine you are doing. that example of that kind of longevity.
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>> there was nobody to follow. >> prior to that, you didn't know about chefs. >> getting the cooking job was the last thing you did after you got out of the military before you went to jail. [laughter] it was the lowest common denominator. anybody could wash dishes. you could always get that matter what your education, no matter your luck, no matter what your situation, no matter your location geographically. >> when i told my parents i wanted to cook, i think they had visions of me with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth stirring the sauce. >> look where you are now. rachael, let me ask you this. what would you say was your big breakthrough moment when you finally said, you know what, i am going somewhere? >> my life has been a series of happy accidents, and the thing that has made those accidents successful is i enjoy working really hard. i enjoy a long day. i enjoy many plates in the air. i do think, like these gentlemen, not in the real long term, but bobby hit on something i think is important. you should always get up with the intent to make yourself better and to grow and to learn,
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but you have to know what you do well, what you offer, and you need to stay true to that. i never had any designs or ideas on being in television. i loved working in food. i loved living in the country. i had a pickup truck and a great job. any job in food makes me happy, with the exception of dish machine operator. that is humbling, hot, and very hard work. i don't wish to have that job again. >> i loved restaurants. i've wanted to get back into restaurants for years. i think that is something we are going to get accomplished this year. i do not sit down with a piece of paper and i say i want something that is around for 100 years. i want to have a purpose and goals. i want to stay true to the brand we have built over the years. >> we are successful as restaurateurs and chefs if we make you happy. >> our job is to provide you with the confidence that you can follow a recipe book or follow page six if that happens to be where you happen to be.
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>> does it annoy you when someone says, ah, bobby flay is a tv star, he is not a real chef? ♪
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>> define your brand in three words. >> can do. i want you to be able to envision yourself doing anything that has my name on it or that we touch as a group. can do is definitely ours. >> three words is never enough but if was going to choose the ones i hope would be associated with my brand would be authentic, delicious, and it would be italian or it would be happy. >> bobby, what would be your brand in three words? >> big flavors which is two words, american, and grilling. when it gets warmer in the northeast, people look for outdoor cooking and tips. >> i always want to be remembered for making people happy. >> it is about sharing. when you cook it shows before
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you ever eat. it is a wonderful way to make a living. >> we are successful as restauranteurs and chefs if we make you happy. we can say we cook and we make delicious food, we do all these things but if people leave happy we are successful. it is really it. >> they also look at it in value. one of the things -- there is value at the $100 entree and there is value at the two-dollar entree. they look out at the end of the month and they say and that is how they decide. whatever that experience was. people make us heroes and all the stuff but it is about making a delicious dinner. >> you have some exquisite restaurants in new york that are difficult to get into and that are very high-end but you also try to make yourself access both to the average american. how do you balance that? >> accessibility is all of our goals. we are not talking from some peak.
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the reason that we are successful is we look straight across at every person who wants to know how to grill, they want to talk about competition and all the great things everyone does but we share across the table. that is why the four of us are successful. >> have you -- as you are trying to get more accessible, there is a risk of compromising quality and the credibility of your restaurant? >> we were talking about that this morning. it is one of those things, it is a very good question. we are -- we have grown up in a time where food has become very important. we have caught up to the rest of
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the world. we all got, the three of us, sorry to exclude you for one second, rachel, we get it in the higher-end marketplace where our restaurants are $75 a person and up. you had to think about going there and spending your money. as time has gone on and people like rachel have come along and brought the rest of the world into good food, at home and also at the right price point, we also look at that and say, how can we be in that business as well? that is the way we live our life most of our days. we do not eat in four-star restaurants every night. >> we have suffered from a poor economy. anyone who wanted to keep making money start off and affordable ways. that is one of the few silver linings that came out of a prolonged period of economic depression is more good food and
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offering special offers to get people into those pricey restaurants. we have a big invitational food and wine fest every year called the burger bash. all of the world's greatest chefs put their talents into a pretty serious throw down competition. i do not think those things are mutually exclusive. you can be a fantastic chef and still enjoy every type of food including a hamburger. >> i have turned down a lot of things. >> you got criticized for that. >> you're not worried about a skeleton or two in the closet? ♪
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>> how would you describe mario's brand? >> bigger than life. >> three words, good job. >> full of life and always ready to have a good time. always up for fun. i think of tom as a very focused fisherman.
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on every level. he chooses things carefully. he is smart about it, he makes delicious food but his passion is what is on his sleeve. it makes a big difference. >> rachael's brand is accessible, passionate, and a great home cook. she is incredibly focused and she has been doing that for really long time really well. >> rachael -- bobby? >> everybody here, i am a fan of all of theirs and they are all accessible. what i love about bobby is he has done so much for our shows and shows we have done with young people. i love seeing bobby with people. i love seeing him talk to kids with as much respect as any other grown-up. he is so focused. he does it with great integrity. >> he is the same on camera as off? >> he's even better. there was a home-ec teacher and bobby came down and he talked with these kids.
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we only shot for just a few minutes. the cameras were off and he stood there and coached them and advised them and it was just so lovely to see. >> all of you are big brands but you also endorse products. you sell products as well. rachael, you partner with kohl's. >> they buy my products. the first thing i designed was a spaghetti pot. i did not like getting a spaghetti facial while you are waiting for the spaghetti to bend to your will. you look all sweaty. and all the stoneware and the pots and pans. i work with meyer corporation to produce them for me. it is not like i am a spokesperson. i want them to serve a function. and they're all practical.
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is it the largest value in that category? >> a lot of chefs will have a producer go get market goods and they will bring them back and put their name on them and that is all right. >> who are you talking about when you say that? >> there's a lot of people out there that you can see on qvc. if they are selling $110 collections of pots, they are doing it because it is a quick way to capitalize on their recognition factor. that is a fast and easy way to get money and very appealing. i have turned down a lot of things. >> people want us to get into
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the wine business, the balsamic vinegar business and commercial olive oil. into the mediocre spaghetti business. all sorts of things you could put your name on that are not necessarily a bad idea if you do not mind that you do not look so good in the long run. you have to make sure that everything has a high quality that you assume it has got to be, and you have to make those decisions on a daily basis. >> younger people are getting to that point where they have opportunities. you are in a great position and there will be lots of opportunities. the things that will shape you are the things you say no to, not the things that you say yes to. if you start making a lot of bad decisions, you become part of that brand. >> tell me what you said no to. >> i say no to things all day long whether it is different grills, food products, i'm talking about life-changing opportunities. your gut knows immediately if it
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does not seem right. you have to walk away. >> i have a rule of thumb. if i use it i will endorse it. i took on diet coke. i sell this in my restaurants. >> you got criticized for that. >> yeah, so? it did not but me. i slept at night. >> i have said no to tomato sauce and frozen dinners. >> some people believe those competition shows are rigged. >> we are not actually cooking. >> it takes you 20 years to build the brand and three bad days to wreck the entire thing. ♪
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>> you all are celebrities in your own right. there are celebrities themselves from hollywood who are trying to get into the food business. i think about gwyneth paltrow. she has done a show with you, right? didn't you travel through spain with her? >> yeah. somebody had to do it and these guys turned it down, so i took the gig. >> what a terrible job. >> you had eva longoria, who has opened restaurants. justin timberlake, jay-z, all these folks. what do you think about these celebrities trying to get into your business? >> good for them.
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>> it's fair play. >> it creates more awareness in general for the food industry. if someone like jay-z is involved in a restaurant -- i was talking to mario before we sat down. i said, technically jay-z is your partner, isn't he? he's, like, yeah, we own the spotted pig together. i think that is pretty cool that jay-z is interested in food. when you listen to jay-z's music, he talks about food all the time. >> he is fascinated by it, loves it. he is not going to build a jay-z cheesesteak place. smart people invest in people that know what they're doing. if i was going to get into the computer business, i would call apple or dell. i wouldn't call my brother's cousin's friend's neighbor who i heard had a good idea. [laughter] the smart business people are paying attention and doing that. other people are trying to capitalize. it is like putting your sticker on commercial goods someone bought from china. that's one way to go, and none of them are wrong, but there is probably less longevity in the put your sticker on something you don't really understand. >> owning and operating a restaurant is more than just
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about having the capital. it is a lot more complicated than that. >> everyone has a fascination about food and restaurants. a lot of people want a piece of it. we have a mutual friend who loves food, loves to cook. he's not interested in investing in restaurants, but he just loves food. >> and he'll obsess. he'll send 17 or 18 text messages whether he is doing it right today. the beauty of our field is that there is no entrance fee. can come in and cook any time you want. our job is to provide you with the confidence that you can do it and follow a recipe book or follow a cooking segment or follow you on page six if that happens to be where you happen to be. there is a vicarious pleasure to eating and preparing delicious food. >> the average person has a very strange understanding of what chefs do. the way i like to explain it is it is, if you're going to see a piece of classical music, most likely the person who wrote that music has long passed. so, who gets top billing?
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the conductor. you go to see the conductor. you do not expect the conductor to jump down into the pit and pick up a violin and start playing. if you did, it would be absolute chaos. the chef writes the music. we are in the kitchen to orchestrate. we are not actually cooking. cooks cook. sous chefs cook a little less. chefs are writing the menus and recipes. it is our way of setting up the kitchen. we are teaching and executing. we are not in there playing the fiddle every night. >> when you get to a brand as big as all of you, how do you make sure that your restaurants are producing the kind of food that you want them to produce? because you are ceo's now. >> it is training. i think the mindset is -- you have to check your ego at the door. the second you think no one else can do what you can, then you cannot. if you are convinced you're the only one who can do it, you should do it. check your ego.
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>> one of the things is about being a chef is being the coach of the team, the supervisor, being the last word on what that food is supposed to look and taste like and how it gets executed. make sure they do not take shortcuts. make sure they are tasting the food as well as you are. make sure they are checking for seasoning. >> do you hire everybody? >> do i? no, that would be impossible. but i have chefs and sous chefs who answer to me every single day, running each one of my kitchens. i have six high-end restaurants and i have 14 burger places. so, it would be impossible for me to hire every single person. in the burger places, the check average is $10 as opposed to $75, $85, $95 at one of my restaurants, but we still train the cooks with proper technique, the same technique fundamentals that we would train someone in the high-end restaurants. >> where did you learn that? where did you come up with that? when you say the same technique, who did you model that after? >> i have very little formal training in terms of school.
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as you know, i did not graduate high school. i dropped out when i was in ninth grade. i had to get my equivalency diploma to go to culinary school. i learned from living, living life. the only way i could figure out how to do it is to do it practically and figure out how to get it done. the only way i knew how to get it done then is the same way i get it done today, which is to never rest on your laurels, make sure that people do the fundamentals every day. i walk around the kitchens. i do not spend a lot of time fixing really fancy sauces. the thing i say more than anything else is, did you season it on both sides with salt and pepper? it is the fundamentals. a good basketball coach will tell you the same thing. put the ball down. i do not want to see if you can shoot. i want to see if you can dribble with both hands. i take the same approach as a coach in my kitchens. >> i want you to construct a dish using cherry coke. >> yes, please. >> "iron chef" -- i've done 80 of them. >> we are looking for another way to go here. ♪
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>> you are all tv stars. and all of you started loving food, started as chefs. what is it like now to be television stars?
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people see you as chefs, but they also see you as a television star. >> it is really good 80% of the time and it is not very interesting 20% of the time. if i am sitting there with my kids and i want to have a nice breakfast, i have sold a part of that down the tubes because i have agreed to meet the customers. i like it. it is fun. it is fun to be popular. it always was. i don't know this from high school, i learned later on. [laughter] but there is a lot of good to it, and the little bit that is bad about it -- if you do not want to talk to your customers, you should be home. don't go out there and treat them with anything other than respect. it takes you 20 years to build a brand and three bad days to wreck the entire thing. if you do not feel like engaging in a positive way, you should try to stay out of their way. >> do you like those cooking competitions, those game shows that you have been part of and
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you have judged? >> yeah, otherwise i wouldn't do them. i do not apologize for anything i do. i did a show on nbc called "america's next great restaurant" that lasted for only one season, but i had a great time doing it. we went through the process of trying to find somebody to create a new business. i have done five years of "throwdown." tom does "top chef." it is part of our culture now that competition is in food and i love it. "iron chef" -- i have done 80 of them. i love doing "iron chef" because i do not have to talk to anyone. i can just cook. it's actually kind of nice. >> what do you think viewers get out of it? what do americans get out of a competition like that? >> it's voyeurism. they are rooting. they want to see what happens at the end. they obviously pick a side at some point. they want you to win or lose, and that is what holds the viewer. >> the competition exists because the tv people know that there is something called stickiness. if there is no reason to stay to the end of the show, you will not sell your advertising. there is the payoff at the end they are relying on to keep the viewer watching. that is self-perpetuating. we are looking for another way
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to go and it still will be reality competition shows for some time. >> does it annoy you when someone says, ah, bobby flay, he's a tv star, he is not a real chef? >> does anybody say that? >> of course they do. >> people say it all the time about all of us. >> i would say that most of the consumers would not say that. what we hear mostly are people who are in our business, our contemporaries, and i think a lot of it stems from jealousy. i know a ton of people who said to me i cannot believe you're doing television when it all first started. and mario can talk about this as well. they sent their tapes and everyone is on television. it is amazing. >> rachael, what is your relationship like with the network? >> i have a great relationship. our daytime syndicated show is partners with scripps, parent company to food network and cooking channel. i work largely with the same people all throughout my year. i film the daytime show from september to may.
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we do 180 episodes of that. then during the summer i do the food network and cooking channel projects. there are the same people who come back and forth with me to those places. it feels like family to me. i've been on food network about a dozen years. like that continuity. >> those competition shows -- and i'm not talking about "top chef" itself, but some people believe those shows are rigged. >> let them believe it. who cares? >> who cares? >> we can't focus on negative energy. >> the one thing we can't do is waste a lot of energy trying to get everybody to believe that we are putting on something that is real. it is exhausting. those people are watching, too, so we invite them in. it's ok. if you want to watch -- >> conspiracy theories sell lots of books. >> exactly. >> one of the things i want to do is our own sort of recipe challenge. i want to have you construct a dish for a frequent guest on my
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program, someone that many people know in america. mario, let me start with you. lloyd blankfein is someone we have had on bloomberg television quite often. i want you to construct a dish that you would cook for the goldman sachs ceo with new york hot dogs. bobby flay, don thompson is someone i know well. he is the ceo of mcdonald's. i want you to construct a dish for him -- >> no problem. >> using the sweet-and-sour sauce at mcdonald's. >> ok. >> tom colicchio, warren buffett is someone i have talked to quite often. he loves cherry coke. so, i want you to construct a dish using cherry coke. >> sure, i'm the coke guy, right? great. >> you signed that deal, buddy. >> rachael, i will give you a bit of a curveball. elon musk is a billionaire, founder of tesla, the electric carmaker. >> those are really cool. they are very cute. >> he is south african. so, a south african beef jerky.
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i want you to construct a dish using beef jerky. mario, you've had a second to think about it. what would you make lloyd blankfein? >> first of all, i would chop one of the hot dogs -- do i get more than one hot dog? i would chop one of them up and dredge it with flour and salt and pepper and some cayenne and make it nice and crispy and hot. i would take the other one, i would butterfly it open until it was flat, dredge in flour and bread crumbs. i would make a hotdog schnitzel and serve it with a crispy hotdog salsa. >> nice. >> yes, please. >> i'm up for that. bobby? >> he is the ceo of mcdonald's, you said? i'm not going to try to serve him a hamburger. i think mcdonald's could use a little more vegetables in its life. so, i will use the sweet-and- sour sauce and i will do a roasted cauliflower, agua dulce, sort of sweet and sour with some red chilies and put it in an earthenware dish, and put it in an oven and roast it. there you go.
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>> sounds good. tom? >> a midwest guy, he probably likes beef. so, let's braise some short ribs in cherry coke and let's cut that sweetness with a lot of vinegar. >> rachael? >> i do make a great homemade beef jerky i make for my family every year and i give it to all the dads in my family. has a lot of worcestershire, juniper, beer, soy. so, i could make my homemade batch of jerky. or you could bring the jerky back to life, make a burger and stack it on it like a bacon cheeseburger, but a jerky cheeseburger. >> that sounds good. >> if elected officials aren't going to get behind this, they should be labeled pro hunger. >> we should be thinking about bugs. let's start getting used to it. >> eating bugs. >> i cannot even imagine the idea of it. >> we'd need a lot more rose. >> bring on the rose. ♪
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>> tom, you have just executive produced a film called "a place at the table." >> fantastic film, by the way. >> talking all about how to get kids to eat healthier and how to get the government to care about it. why can't we get proper food into our kids?
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who do you blame? >> that's a very complex question. i don't know if we have enough time to address everything. >> as opposed to blame, what can we do? >> it's actually not all bad news. the health and hunger-free child act was the first increase -- not enough, but it was the first increase -- >> that is criticized in tom's film. >> i criticize that. >> and i agree. >> the president asked for $10 billion. it gets ordered down to $8 billion, then it gets down to $4.5 billion, and they take half the money from snap. >> i cannot understand why both sides of the aisle would not have come together on all of the money that was granted -- >> hunger issues and obesity issues cost the country $110 billion a year. if you factor in lack of productivity, it's $176 billion a year. you would think you would want to address that whatever side of the aisle you're on. >> it does not make sense. >> why aren't lawmakers listening? >> because no one is asking them. hunger and food is not a voting issue. it's not like second amendment rights or reproduction rights. and so, no one is out there advocating for people. there are 50 million americans who are food insecure.
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if all of a sudden they became a voting bloc, people would listen. >> if you watch the movie, it outlines very clearly the problems we have in the legislature but also in the home. people are choosing salty, fatty carbohydrates because they have been sold those. they are the cheapest. so, you are gettings something to eat. but the funniest thing, along with the obesity, there is malnutrition. big people are malnourished. they are not healthy. >> but again, why? we have farm subsidies, $20 billion a year, and 85% is going to corn, wheat, and soy, all these products that go into fast food or highly-processed foods. we are only subsidizing dairy and livestock to the tune of 15% and fruits and vegetables 1%. >> what about the horsemeat scandal? i want to get your thoughts on that. >> bobby should comment on that one. you're a horse guy. >> that's right, you own some thoroughbred horses. >> i do. obviously, as an american, i cannot imagine the idea of it.
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i know in other countries, it is commonplace, but not for here. >> big time. >> i do not know. when you're looking at a shortage of protein, why are we not looking at the sources of protein? >> because those kind of animals are very expensive to grow as a protein source. we should start thinking about bugs. let's just start getting used to it. there's an infinite supply. bugs are definitely the future of protein if we are going to feed a growing planet. transferring grass through an animal to make it bigger so that you can get some kind of return on protein is a very inefficient system. >> it is a new pizza topping, grasshoppers. >> i am not against it. >> crunchy. >> right. >> you travel all over the world and you have experimented with these types of proteins. >> i've eaten bugs. >> in china, we eat chicken feet. it is a delicacy. are americans food snobs because they won't touch certain kinds of meat?
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>> i don't think that's snobbery. >> it's culture. it is fear, ignorance. if you have something that is delicious not knowing what it is, and you find out what it is, odds are it is not going to bother you that much. one of the things about teaching children not to be so picky is to cook it with them. >> if they have ownership of it, they want to try it. they put their own time and effort and they're proud when their family sits down together, so they want to try it, too. >> i always hear the stories about parents feeding their kids a different meal than the parents. >> you don't agree with the whole separate children's menu at restaurants? >> absolutely not. >> we don't have them. >> ridiculous. >> all of our food is children's food that happens to be adult- friendly. what kid does not want to eat spaghetti? >> i hear a rumor that you may be interested in running for mayor of new york. >> the envelope, please. >> we got five guys already lined up. >> i'm going to work very hard to make tom colicchio president of the united states. >> thank you. >> i have never been more jealous than when i walked into that place. you guys killed it. ♪
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>> this has been a great meal. i want to ask what is next for each of you. bobby, i hear a rumor that you may be interested in running for mayor of new york? >> who are you going to bribe for that one? >> the envelope, please. >> we have five guys already lined up.
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>> wow. ok. i thought you were going to ask me something else. i am opening a new restaurant. [laughter] >> i know that. you can talk about that, too. >> i am a native new yorker. i am proud to be a native new yorker and i love new york so much. it has been a wonderful place for me to live, a wonderful stage for me to be on. everybody at this table is really passionate about things. i am passionate about new york. i think that at some point in my life, i could be helpful in the political arena. i do not know when that would be. i do not know what position. people say mayor to me. people say i might run for office one day. who knows? >> you are open. >> i'm open, sure. >> you're not worried about a skeleton or two in the closet? >> i'm going to put the skeletons on the table day one. i don't care about that. one thing that we all have in common -- >> skeletons? >> not only do we have skeletons, we are used to being hit on in the press. at this point, we are numb to it.
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>> everything anybody needs to know about bobby flay is already out there? >> totally. absolutely. do you have something i don't know? if you have something to make me more interesting, bring it out. >> tell us about the restaurant. >> i had a spanish restaurant for 15 years called bolo. it closed about five years ago. they knocked the building down when my lease was up. i'm going to open a restaurant. it's not going to be called bolo. i made a decision that bolo lived and died for 15 years. it will be in the spirit of bolo. the thrust will be spanish but i will utilize as much of the mediterranean as i feel comfortable with. i love those ingredients. >> i have a name for you. lobo. >> i'm sure lawrence would like that. [laughter] palaces? >> i have 14 bobby's burger palaces. we will build four or five more this year. >> you are opening up in bridgehampton, right? what are your hopes for it?
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>> that is busy and profitable and people love it. >> you are going on a cruise, is that right, for "top chef"? >> yes. [laughter] >> hold up -- oh, what a joy. and all the positive press cruises have been getting, who knows what's going to happen? >> we might have planned that before some of the latest news stories. >> we are opening a restaurant in las vegas in july at the mirage hotel. >> what is it? >> heritage steak. i am busy raising children and running restaurants. >> trying to change the world? >> trying to change the world a little at a time. >> rachael, what about you? >> i am going to work hard to make tom colicchio president of the united states so we get more money for children's school food. >> thank you. >> and i will spend any day off that i get for that working on the campaign for bobby flay for mayor. >> i just want you to come to the restaurant, don't worry about the other part. >> no, because that is what i have to do to support mario, my good friend. i have to spend the other 21 nights i have off at his restaurants so that he can decide where he's taking his career next and which one gets to be the chain. >> there you go. >> i am dedicated to getting up every day and trying harder at all the things i am blessed to
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have the opportunity to do. i didn't plan it so far, so i am going to stick to that plan. >> would you be happy if you were doing this for the next five years? >> this is really, like, four or five different things for me. >> this for five years -- >> i'm not sure you could take it. we need a lot more rose. >> we will open a couple of eataly's. the first one, next up is in chicago. >> amazing concept. >> fantastic. >> i have never been more jealous than when i the first time i walked into that place. you guys killed it. >> thank you. we're proud of it. it is an honor to be able to associate ourselves with the italian food culture in such a way that it just feels great. anyone who walks ain can be italian if they want. >> what was the key to that success? >> the originator of the idea came up with this because it was all the things he is passionate about.
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italians love the food -- whatever their mom or aunt made growing up, or their grandma, or anyone in their family. so, it is generally about the flavor of the wind on the hill closest to your house. he grew up in the area where they made this wine. he wasn't a rich kid, but he worked hard and really made this great idea. and celebrating all of his favorite things to eat was what that store was about, and more than just the food, the information and the ideology behind it. he is about slow food. it was all about not fast production. it was about pure, traditional flavors of italy. when they brought it here, a lot of the things people had never seen. we bring our own production into america. you will not find a lot of products on the shelf anywhere else. it feels good. there is exclusive products. the price point to walk in there is free, and you can get something to eat for $2. it is a really happy concept. it works really well for a lot of people. >> on that note, i want to say
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cheers. thank you very much for joining me on this edition of "titans at the table." ♪
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>> bankrupt company, bankrupt city -- how do you be a luxury brand? >> for 30 years, we lost our way. >> our sales had declined. >> we never really competed. >> we did not listen to the customer as we should have been. >> how do you get away with not listening to customers? how do i know you are listening now? >> the biggest thing is still pushing through that perception that it is the old man's car.

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